San Jose Sharks Enter The Final Turn
Fifty-six points. Eighth in the Western Conference. Sixteen points behind the West-leading Vancouver Canucks. Fourth in the Pacific Division. Nine points behind the Pacific leading Dallas Stars. Thirty-two games to go.
Such is the State of the San Jose Sharks. The team, which statistically is having it’s worst season in 6 years, started to finally show some signs of life over their last 5 games. The additions of Ben Eager and Kyle Wellwood seems to have added a little energy to the team. Scott Nichol returns after his 4 game suspension. Antii Niemi seems to have elevated his game back to where it was when he shut us down last year.
Given the nature of the Western Conference standings it looks like if a few teams get hot they cold lock up the 4-6 spots. That would lead to a mad dash for the final playoff spots. Hopefully the Sharks will begin one of their notorious hot streaks and be one of those teams locking down a higher seeded playoff spot. Sooner would, of course, be better than later, but the team is about to embark on their annual 2-week road trip to accommodate the SAP Open at The Tank and it’ll either be a case of road ‘team bonding’ or road ‘team exhaustion’.
And then there’s the trade deadline. I REALLY hate last minute trades. It seems like any player picked up at the deadline either feels too much like a rental player to get invested in their new team or it’s just not enough time to get into sync with his new teammates. In either case history would dictate that none of the Sharks’ trade deadline acquisitions made much of a contribution in the playoffs. I would rather see an ‘solid’ acquisition now than a ‘blockbuster’ acquisition at the deadline.
It’s the push to the playoffs….